Polgar Invitational: Round 5 Report

08.10.06 Defending Champion Abby Marshall of Virgina continues to lead the tournament going into the last round needing only a draw to clinch a repeat. Margaret Bryan celebrates her first win of the tournament with a lively annotated game. Have a look and check out the leader board and last round match-ups.

Image courtesy Susan Polgar Foundation
In the red shirt is Anjali Datta and in the green shirt is Coutney Jamison, both from Dallas, Texas. Anjali and Courtney are tied for 2nd place going into the last round. The defending co-champion Abby Marshall has a perfect 5-0.

August 10, 2006

Round five has come and gone, and I thank all of the readers who have waited patiently for my next entry. It has been delayed since I have been on various forms of public transportation during the last couple of days and computers were not close at hand. I wish I’Äôd thought to bring a laptop to Chicago.

Finally I won my first game! I was, as I mentioned in my last entry, playing on the last board and competing against the only player in the tournament with 0 points. Her rating was only a little over 600, but I estimate her playing level to be about 200 points higher. She played a very solid opening, and at one point in the beginning of the game I even found myself with a slight positional disadvantage. She has great potential as a player and had me somewhat worried more than once. Below is the game with the usual analysis.

Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls
Round 5 August 10, 2006
Alisa Spitelle (639) - Margaret Bryan (1076)

To view this game with our interactive game viewer while following Margaret's annotations, right-click on the hyperlink below and choose "Open in New Window".

Click here to replay

1. e4 e5

Finally I’Äôm playing a conservative opening recommended by chess professionals, and have broken away from the Scandinavian, a defense which has always worked well for me in local tournaments, but at the national level is easily taken care of. The game continues with a predictable opening line.

2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Bc4

I am immediately aware of Ng5, as I have often attempted this line myself as White. I quickly respond’Ķ

4. ’Ķ h6
5. 0-0 Bb4
6. a3 Bxf3
7. bxf3

Now I have traded a bishop for a knight, an exchange that some would consider gives me a slight disadvantage, but now White has a pair of doubled pawns and is looking at a completely unprotected bishop and four of her pieces lined up vertically on the queenside. I continue with’Ķ

7. ’Ķ d6

Now I am attempting to bring my second bishop into play, and am also poised to capture the pawn on e4 without any dangerous counterplay by White.

8. d3 Bg4
9. h3 Bxf3
10. Qxf3 Qe7

I am now prepared to castle queenside, connecting my rooks and protecting a pawn in the process.

11. Qe2 0-0-0
12. Rb1 d5

With this move I threaten to take commanding control over the center if White does not respond quickly. White plays’Ķ

13. Bb5 Qd6
14. c4 d4
15. Bxc6 Qxc6
16. Rd1 a6

I did this to prevent White’Äôs rook from coming down to b5 and threatening the e5 square. I could always protect with Rhe8, but then White would merely move to d5, and after a short series of exchanges would find herself with both jurisdiction over the center of board and a threat on my not-very-mobile queen.

17. Bd2 Rhe8
18. c3 Qc5

I’Äôm pretty comfortable with my position at present. I am forewarning the capture of White’Äôs a-pawn, am controlling half the center squares on the board, and have much more space to operate than White.

19. a4 g5

I think this a slight blunder by myself and am worried that White will see this as an opportunity to situate her queen on the f3 square again, jeopardizing my knight and threatening check on f5. My opponent however, overlooked this option, and instead played’Ķ

20. Rb2

That was a waste of a move. I see an opening, and as quick as possible enter it.

20. ’Ķ Qa3
21. Rbb1

Probably the only thing White could have done at that point. If she had played Rb4, I would have merely played dxc3, inevitably gaining the bishop. As it happened, I played dxc3 anyway.

21. ’Ķ dxc3
22.Bc1 Qxa4
23. Re1

Well, that prevents me from playing c2, at any rate, for then White will just respond with Rb2, and end up capturing one of the pawns I have worked so hard to gain.

23. ’Ķ Qd7
24. Be3

White doesn’Äôt even attempt to protect the d3 square.

24. ’Ķ Qxd3
25. Qxd3 Rxd3
26. Rec1 Nxe4
27. f3

A risky move when White is already three pawns down. I accept the trade offer, knowing that it gives me the opening to play Rd8, and then Rdd3 when White later attempts to pick off my c3 pawn with Rb3.

27. ’Ķ Rxe3
28. fxe3 Rd8
29. Re1

If f3 didn’Äôt cost White the game, Re1 did. Now I just trade rooks and advance the pawn at my leisure, knowing that White can’Äôt do anything to stop Rd1.

29. ’Ķ Rxe1
30. Rxe1 c2
31. Rf1 Rd1
32. Rxd1 cxd1=Q+
33. Kf2 g4
34. hxg4 Qxg4
35. g3 a5

Now I have decided to go and promote another pawn, this time to a rook, knowing that it will take less time to checkmate my opponent with that approach.

36. c5 a4
37. c6 a3
38. cxb7+ Kxb7
39. Kg2 a2
40. Kf2 a1=R
41. Kg2 Qe2+
42. Kh3 Rh1#

And that was the end of the game. Tune in for tomorrow’Äôs entry, the sixth and final round in the Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls. Hopefully there will be some photographs, plus a complete report on the awards ceremony and pizza party.

Written by Margaret Bryan,
ChessMaine’Äôs Special Correspondent in Chicago

Current standings after 5 rounds:

No. Name Rating Points

1 Marshall, Abby 1950 5.0 (Defending Champion)
2-6 Jamison, Courtney 1997 4.0
2-6 Livschitz, Louiza 1983 4.0
2-6 Kats, Elina 1969 4.0
2-6 Mateer, Amanda 1891 4.0
2-6 Datta, Anjali 1884 4.0

Final round match-ups:

Marshall, Abby (4,5.0,1950) - Jamison, Courtney (1,4.0,1997)
Mateer, Amanda (5,4.0,1891) - Livschitz, Louiza (2,4.0,1983)
Datta, Anjali (6,4.0,1884) - Kats, Elina (3,4.0,1969)
Lee, Laura L (8,3.0,1813) - Carter, Ashley (7,3.5,1848)
Selby, Krista (19,3.5,1480) - Wamala, Jessica N (11,3.0,1711)


congratulations margaret!

Abby Marshall,
I read about you in the Saturday, March 24 Chess section of the Washington Times. I was surprized to see you live in Newport News; thats not to far, meaning about an hour, from where I live. My dad, my brother, and I started a chess club at the Gloucester County Library, about 30-45 minuts from Newport News. We have some pretty good players; our best at Advanced Beginners in the chess world. I know this is asking a lot, but if you ever have time you would be very very welcome to come. I would be honored. My email address is balletdork94@yahoo.com . Please please respond!

Congratulations Margaret! Well done.

Congratulations to Margaret Bryan on her 5th round victory.

Post a comment

  • Navigation: